U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, touting record of results, announces 2024 reelection bid

By: - June 28, 2023 11:41 am

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., announces her reelection bid for U.S. Senate in the Nebraska State Capitol on Wednesday, June 28, 2023. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner)

LINCOLN — U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., kicked off her third campaign for the Senate on Wednesday at the Nebraska State Capitol, where she discussed how she has helped Nebraskans secure federal funding for infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges and broadband. 

From left to right, Gov. Jim Pillen, former Govs. Kay Orr and Dave Heineman and U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., listen as U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., announces her reelection bid for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner)

Flanked by more than a few dozen current and former elected officials, including Gov. Jim Pillen; U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb.; and former Govs. Kay Orr and Dave Heineman, Fischer highlighted her Senate work on national defense, including helping secure funding for a new runway at Offutt Air Force Base and for new levees to protect the base in the event of flooding. 

She pointed to work with public and private partners to build a VA health clinic in Omaha. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, she mentioned the importance of upgrading the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

The senator said she knows Nebraskans, “who we are and what we stand for,” because she comes home and hears from them. She touted a voting record that right-wing broadcaster Glenn Beck recently described as more conservative than U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri.  

Multiple state senators, constitutional officers and other current and former elected officials in the state joined U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., at center, for her reelection announcement Wednesday. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner)

The reference to Beck appeared aimed at some factions within the Republican Party who have echoed former President Donald Trump’s criticisms of GOP House and Senate members who backed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, including Fischer and Bacon. The bill included at least $1.2 billion for Nebraska projects.

Nebraska is expected to receive $405 million on broadband infrastructure because of the bill, the White House announced this week. Fischer also mentioned new investments in drinking water quality and wastewater treatment. Last week, during a visit to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she highlighted important research that the federal government helps fund at Nebraska colleges and universities.

Fischer said she has focused much of her work on confronting China with military strength and economic independence. Like her Senate cohorts, she drew attention to a humanitarian and security “crisis” at the southern U.S. border.

She also said she was “proud to support President Trump’s three nominees to the Supreme Court,” which overturned Roe v. Wade and sent decisions on regulating abortion back to individual states. 

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., announces her reelection bid for U.S. Senate on Wednesday. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner)

“I’m proud of my record,” Fischer said. “There’s no question I’m a conservative. … But I also get the job done for Nebraska and take care of our people.” 

No challenger to Fischer has filed so far, although the Nebraska Democratic Party has said it is actively recruiting one. 

Fischer was elected to the Senate in 2012 and re-elected in 2018. In 2024, both Fischer and the state’s junior senator, Sen. Pete Ricketts, R-Neb, will be on the ballot. Pillen appointed Ricketts in January to replace former Sen. Ben Sasse, who quit to run the University of Florida.

Ricketts has to win in 2024 to serve out the remaining two years of Sasse’s term. The seat will be open again in 2026 for a regular six-year term. 

Former 1st District House candidate John Glen Weaver, a Republican, has announced he will oppose Ricketts. Two others — Republican Charles Herbster and Democrat Paul Theobald — have said they are considering runs.

Nebraska Examiner intern Zach Wendling contributed to this report.

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Aaron Sanderford
Aaron Sanderford

Political reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also worked as an assignment editor and editorial writer. He was an investigative reporter at KMTV.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.